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JOHN A. WAGNER. Deceased- In the person of the esteemed gentleman whose name is at the head of this article we have one of the first of Union county’s settlers and a man who bore the brunt of assisting to open upthis section for the settlement of man and in developing the same, while he was ever enterprising and progressive, both in his private business operations as well as in the interests of the welfare of the county at large, and it is eminently fitting that a memorial be accorded to him in these abiding chronicles of our county, where he labored so faithfully and for so many years, ever manifesting that integrity, sagacity and uprightness which were characteristic of his whole life.
John A. Wagner was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, on May 8, 1837, being the son of James Wagner, a master collier in the coal mines of that vicinity. When he had reached the age of nineteen he started from home and took up the battles of life for himself, going first to Iowa, where he was occupied on the farm for a time. Next he started to Pike’s Peak in 1859, but as the train disbanded he fell in with another train and came to southern Oregon by ox teams, being in the employ of a man who was importing fine stock to this country,and in his services he remained until 1862, when he took up packing to the various mines. He was in parntership with Volney and William Rector, and they kept a depot of stores at Auburn which they drew upon to pack to the Boise Basin. In 1862 William died and the stores were stolen. That winter our subject stayed in the vicinity of Cove and until 1866 was constantly engaged in packing to Boise and Coeur d’ Alene. In 1867 he bought a quarter-section adjoining the present home and took up general farming and stock-raising, and from 1877 to 1894 he was occupied in addition with a dairy, milking from twenty to forty cows all of the time. He had about sixty acres to pasture, one hundred to meadow and one hundred and twenty to grain. In 1894 he sold out the dairy cows and confined his attention to general farming.
The marriage of Mr. Wagner and Miss Mary A., daughter of Lewis and Charity Bloom, pioneers of the Grande Ronde valley of 1862, was solemnized on March 28, 1867, and to them were born eight children, two of whom are still living, namely: Myrtle M., wife of Charles M. Davis, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Mimmie E., wife of James E. Weaver, now farming the old place. The place where the family is now living is the old Lewis Bloom homestead, and is situated two miles northwest of Cove. On September 30, 1896, Mr. Wagner was callled from the labors and duties of this life to that beyond, and his death was a time of great mourning.
The widow is still residing on the farm and attending to the oversight of affairs in a commendable manner. She has reared one grandson, Elmer C. Fulp, now sixteen years of age. She handles considerable stock and runs a dairy of sixteen cows. Her farms are well improved, and the home place is embellished with fine buildings and a beautiful residence. Mr. Wagner was one of the most highly respected citizens of the county and was always looked up to by his fellows as a man of excellent principles and good judgment. His widow is the recipient of the confidence of the entire community and is esteemed by all and cherished as a woman of gracious personality, true, noble, and upright.